The National Youth Choir of Antigua and Barbuda will be travelling to the United Kingdom (U.K.) as part of a special tour organised by the Office of the High Commissioner and the Ministry of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts.
Thirty young people and the director for the National Youth Choir, Renée Smith, will be travelling to the U.K. on Thursday June 21 until Tuesday July 3, to perform at various locations including Buckingham Palace, where they would have the chance to perform and meet Queen Elizabeth and Prince Harry, according to a copy of the itinerary obtained by Observer media.
Renée Smith, in an interview about the opportunity to perform for the royal family and guests, described it as exciting and expressed hope that, at the end of the performance, the audience would be awe-struck.
She said, “That is the ultimate goal: at the end of our performance at the palace, everybody is like ‘wow’ and that other people who were seeing it, would be like ‘wow’, these young people have gotten this opportunity at the palace, in the presence of the royal family and that in the end we would make Antigua and Barbuda proud.”
Speaking of the rehearsal on Sunday night, High Commissioner Karen-Mae Hill said that it was a first-class performance and that the tour would be an unforgettable opportunity for these young people to experience.
“I really enjoyed [the performance] tonight [Sunday] and I can say unequivocally that you have nothing to be worried about. It was first-class,” she said.
Minister of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts, Daryll Matthew also addressed the choir, saying that the experience would bring them closer as a group and that they should enjoy the opportunity.
“Apart from what you’re travelling there to do and the performances that you will be taking part in, just really savour the moment,” he advised, adding, “you would be taking part in what most persons would never have the opportunity to take part in.”
Speaking separately to Observer media, the Minister also said that the young people should be proud of themselves to be representatives of the nation.
“Whenever young people have the opportunity to travel, to explore and to represent the country, it is a life-changing opportunity for them,” Matthew said.
The choir members are excited for the experience and chance to represent their country. After the rehearsal, one of the members said that she is excited because the experience would be “different” for her.
The tour would also thank donors for their support in disaster relief efforts in
Barbuda, where choir
member, Lincoln Burton, was born.